The majority of people would argue that although being in love with someone is non-tangible, there is definitely no doubt in their mind of it existing. In reality, if you are questioning whether you are in love, then you are most certainly not.
While I do not doubt for a second the existence of remaining in love (albeit being one of those unfortunate individuals yet to experience it), I am rather perplexed over our understanding of what constitutes humanities most demanded experience.
For me, falling for someone is a decision made based on the successful matching of ones own fixed requirements or choices.
I fondly refer to the preliminary phase of partner choice as the ‘terminator glasses’ stage, because it filters through a prospective mate’s qualities and matches them off versus our own distinct choices.
On the New Years Eve simply passed I went to satisfy pals at a bar where we would be celebrating the evening. There, waiting at the door with my pal, I saw HIM for the very first time. I did a quick terminator scan:
Height: Around 6 foot. MATCH.
Build: Not too slim, not too fat, not too buff. MATCH.
Hair: Short dark brown. Not over the top alla David Beckham. MATCH.
Complexion: Dark olive. MATCH.
Lips: Plump. MATCH.
Smile: Oh my God. MATCH.
Eyes: Big, brown, meaningful, with long thick lashes. MATCH!
Position: Gentle, not arrogant. MATCH.
Citizenship: Clearly foreign, most likely Brazilian. MATCH.
With the terminator glasses still securely planted on my face, the verified Brazilian was permitted to move onto the 2nd part of stage one: interaction. Very little is forgiven throughout this part, specifically if one’s program is set at ‘long term mate’. And depending on how weak one is – undesirable dates followed by unwanted kisses, perhaps ending in unwanted sex!).
Depending on the effect of phase one, bombs alerting ‘relationship doom’ could be dropped right in front of ones eyes, yet getting let go un-noticed. Regardless of my cynicism, this stage is certainly more exciting than the terminator phase, albeit being laced with the fear of it all ending. The premature ‘I like you’ could get away ones mouth, falling like a ball onto a roulette table.
My experience with phase three is that I normally recognise Mr Perfect is human. I resist accepting him simply the way he is, and try to mention where he is lacking (he is typically not so open up to my constructive criticism. I wonder why?). This naturally does not lead him to alter his ways, but securely ground himself in them (and resent me while doing so). Love and commitment gets swapped with fear and dependence. Some stay to battle it out to the very end, a lot of head directly for the green exit light.
Individuals declare at this moment that they have ‘fallen out of love’. My argument is that they were never in love in the very first location. Among my favourite films, ‘Moulin Rouge’, melodically states, “The greatest thing you will ever learn, is simply to like, and be liked in return”. I believe this is what we believe being in love is everything about. Yet being loved in return indicates that there is a condition to your giving love. Romantic love is conditional love. If romantic love just goes one-way, it is called unrequited love or perhaps ‘desperate’.
What if I said that true love can just be genuine? And inside of that, real love can only suggest 100% approval of the subject, just the way they are and simply the method they’re not. What if love, real love, is just caring?
One of my favourite movies, ‘Moulin Rouge’, melodically states, “The greatest thing you will ever discover, is simply to like, and be liked in return”. Being liked in return indicates that there is a condition to your providing love. Romantic love is conditional love. If romantic love just goes one-way, it is described unrequited love or even ‘desperate’.
What if love, real love, is just caring?